International Football

What Should We Expect From Team USA Soccer Going Forward?

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 24:   Ricardo Clark (#13) and Landon Donovan (#10) of USA celebrate victory with teammates and substitutes at the end of the FIFA Confederations Cup Semi Final match against Spain at Free State Stadium on June 24, 2009 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. USA won the match 2-0.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jim NguyenCorrespondent IJune 25, 2009

It was a win for the ages. The U.S. triumphed over World No. 1 Spain in the Confederations Cup, advancing to the first final in a major soccer competition ever.

Like captain Carlos Bocanegra, I'm still in disbelief. The U.S. overcame tremendous odds and a roller coaster of results to this point.

It started out with the tough losses to Italy and Brazil that had the team looking out-of-sorts, while stateside media and fans alike were criticizing the team's poor play and calling for Bob Bradley's head.

Then, the U.S. found its motivation and struck back against the naysayers while their back was against the wall. The team got the big win against Egypt and got some help from Brazil to sneak into the semifinals.

Belief and confidence began to return, but would it matter against Spain?

The U.S. played with composure, heart, grit and as a unit to stifle the Spanish attack and capitalize on the few offensive opportunities it was presented.

In short, it was a strong, organized performance characterized by passion, team unity, and execution of a good game plan.

But where do we go from here?

The main question for this team is whether it can maintain this quality of play and be consistent, regardless of the competition?

Will it play well this Sunday and win, or lose in a spirited effort?

Will USA do well during the Gold Cup and continue to develop players who can fill out the 23-man squad for next year's World Cup?

Will it dominate the remainder of the World Cup qualifiers, especially road matches such as against Mexico on August 12th?

Without a doubt, this win will raise expectations on this team going forward.

But will the U.S. be able to play at this high level consistently?

That may be the greatest question of all, and one only the U.S. team can answer.

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